Public Lands

Grand Canyon Trust

This time on Access Utah, a public lands cooperation success story. A while back, the aspen on Monroe mountain in Central Utah were in serious need of restoration. The situation could easily have descended into a blame game with wildlife advocates saying that livestock were eating all of the young aspen and grazing advocates saying that wildlife were eating all of the young aspen. Instead all sides launched an innovative project: the Monroe Mountain Working Group. Individuals and groups that in other circumstances might have been fighting came together to solve the problem. 

Are Federal Agencies Using COVID-19 To Attack Federal Lands?

Apr 10, 2020
Conservation groups like the Western Watersheds Project and the Center for Biological Diversity are accusing federal agencies like the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management of attacking public lands, using COVID-19 as a smokescreen.
SUWA

A Center for Western Priorities study found that the Interior Department has issued 57 separate actions since March 6, when President Donald Trump signed the first COVID-19 emergency bill. Erik Molvar, the executive director of the Western Watersheds Project, said Interior released the Great Basin Fuel Breaks Project last week. According to Molvar, the project would destroy thousands of acres of sage grouse habitat in Utah and do little to control wildfires.

Riders on the Slickrock bike trail in Moab
Molly Marcello

After pressure from elected officials including Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the Bureau of Land Management dropped plans to auction off two parcels for oil and gas leasing near Arches National Park. The parcels overlapped the famed Slickrock Bike Trail and Moab’s sole source aquifer.

utah.com

Various Moab government and business leaders have come out in opposition to the Trump administration’s plans to allow an oil and gas lease on the nearby Slickrock Trail. The group is decrying what they say is an opportunity currently mis-understood by the Department of the Interior to support the power of world famous recreation assets like the Slickrock Trail. They say that these types of outdoor treasures bring revenue flows and tax receipts to public land communities and create real long term jobs and that oil and gas development does not deliver the same economic benefits.

Easement Protects Public-Land Access in South-Central ID

Jan 14, 2020
Tess O'Sullivan/TNC

About 76-hundred acres of land and more than three miles of access to public lands located between the Pioneer Mountains and Craters of the Moon National Monument are being protected thanks to the help of a conservation easement. The easement surrounds the Cenarrusa Ranch, located northeast of the town of Carey, which was recently purchased from The Nature Conservancy.

WSU Insider

Bill Lipe is professor emeritus of anthropology at Washington State University. He has spent much of his more than 50 year career in Utah archaeology beginning with the archaeological salvage of Glen Canyon before the dam construction and on into Cedar Mesa where he became a leading scholar in the early Basketmaker agricultural societies of southeastern Utah. Dr. Lipe began his work at a time when there was little federal legislation protecting archaeology or guiding preservation efforts.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations organization for evaluating and presenting the science related to climate change, released a comprehensive report last week for public officials around the world on the relationship between the land and climate.  The organization provides the world’s governments with scientific assessments to develop climate policies.

A dry winter and one of the warmest springs on record has experts worried about the potential of wildfires on Utah’s West Desert. The Bureau of Land Management is issuing restrictions on BLM lands in Salt Lake, Utah, Tooele, Rich and Box Elder Counties.
suwa.org


William Perry Pendley was announced as the acting director of much of the country’s federal lands Monday. The thing is, Pendley thinks the government shouldn’t even own those lands. 

Amazon

For 12,000 years, people have left a rich record of their experiences in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. In The Capitol Reef Reader, award-winning author and photographer Stephen Trimble collects the best of this writing—160 years worth of words that capture the spirit of the park and its surrounding landscape in personal narratives, philosophical riffs, and historic and scientific records. 

Visit Salt Lake

It’s a pledge drive special edition of Access Utah today. My special guest for the hour is Ken Sanders from Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City. We’ll reach into the archives for parts of some of our favorite recent episodes of the program.

Digital Journal

How can the stories we tell protect the places we love? Friends of Cedar Mesa and Torrey House Press are presenting a conversation on the unique ways desert communities can organize around and diversify narratives to protect Utah’s red rock landscapes. Desert Cabal Expanding the Desert Narrative is Friday, March 1 at 7 PM at the Bears Ears Education Center,

567 Main Street in Bluff Utah.

oregonlive.com

Every American is co-owner of the most magnificent estate in the world—federal public forests, grazing lands, monuments, national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public places. The writer Wallace Stegner famously referred to public lands as “America’s best idea,” but there have always been some who oppose the idea for ideological reasons, or because they have a vested economic interest.

Salt Lake Tribune

   

The Utahns in the running to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is stepping down amid ethics investigations. A new report shows a link between Wasatch Front air pollution and miscarriages, but many doctors aren't talking about it with their patients. And neighbors work to shut down a homeless hospice clinic on Salt Lake City's east side. 

Torrey House Press

Few environmental activists are as venerated as Ed Abbey, author of The Monkey Wrench Gang and Desert Solitaire. His stories about the landscapes, wildlife, and people of the Southwest have inspired countless numbers of visitors to explore the region’s national parks, monuments, and wild places – ironically, one of his biggest fears. But now, as Desert Solitaire turns 50 years old, local writer and sixth-generation Utahn, Amy Irvine, takes issue with some of Abbey’s views in a new book from Torrey House Press.

KUED

At its heart, it’s a battle for homeland and sovereignty. Bears Ears, a remote section of land characterized by its distinctive red cliffs and abundance of juniper and sage, is at the center of a fight over who has a say in how Western landscapes are protected and managed. “Battle Over Bears Ears,” a new documentary film, explores the deep connections to place and the vast cultural divides that are fueling the fight over how the Bears Ears Monument is protected and managed. Whose voices are heard, whose are lost, and how do all sides find common ground in this uncommon place?

Southern Utah is one of the many locations in Utah used for major films and commercials.
Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission

Utah has been one of the most popular areas in the United States for filmmakers since westerns hit the big screens almost 100 years ago according to experts in the film industry. Is it possible to reap the economic benefits of movies and commercials while preserving Utah’s iconic landscapes used on camera? 

Amazon.com

In a remote corner of Oregon, James Pogue found himself at the heart of a rebellion. Granted unmatched access by Ammon Bundy to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Pogue met ranchers and militiamen ready to die fighting the federal government.

W.W. Norton & Company

For generations, the Wrights of southern Utah have raised cattle and world-champion saddle-bronc riders ― some call them the most successful rodeo family in history. 

Now, Bill and Evelyn Wright, parents to 13 children and grandparents to many more, find themselves struggling to hang on to the majestic landscape where they’ve been running cattle for 150 years as the West is transformed by urbanization, battered by drought and rearranged by public-land disputes.

A Utah militia group leader has pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a federally owned cabin in Arizona in what prosecutors call a case of domestic terrorism.

William Keebler pleaded guilty to attempting to damage federal property Thursday.

blm.gov

From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Bureau of Land Management oversees vast expanses of public lands rich in oil, gas, coal, grassland and wildlife habitat.

But more than 99 percent of it is in 12 Western states, hundreds of miles from Washington.

Times have changed. The majority of Americans now live in urban environments, and the current generation is defined by technology. This has left some public land agencies fighting to stay relevant.

When President Donald Trump came to Utah in December, he reorganized the boundaries of two national monuments in Utah. The areas of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante now contain five smaller national monuments.

sierraclub.org

President Donald Trump has signed proclamations to formally scale back two sprawling national monuments in Utah: Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante.

wildlife.utah.gov

The Utah Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Wildlife Resources renewed their Hunter Access Agreement with the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The contract keeps 3.4 million acres of Utah trust lands open to hunters and anglers as well as those interested in viewing wildlife.

Noah Berger/AP

An analysis of wildfire data by the Center for Western Priorities compared the risk of wildfires on federally managed public lands and state-owned lands. 

doi.gov

Correction: A previous version of this story claimed that the public comment period ended with the submission of Sec. Zinke's report last Thursday. The formal comment period actually ended July 10. The story has been changed to reflect this.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to shrink two Utah National Monuments is expected to face major legal fights if adopted by President Trump.

Center for American Progress

 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has completed the review of national monuments mandated by President Trump. He has not released his recommendations. The New York Times is reporting that those recommendations include reducing the size of 4 national monuments, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. Reports are that Secretary Zinke may recommend a drastic reduction in size for Bears Ears.

Idaho Map Details Public Trust Lands

Jul 14, 2017

A new map from the Idaho Department of Lands shows nearly all of that state's trust lands are open for recreation.

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has released his interim report on Bears Ears National Monument.

His recommendations include reducing the size of the monument and seeking congressional approval authorizing tribal co-management of the monument and designation of areas that fall outside the revised monument as national conservation or recreation areas. Sec. Zinke has extended the public comment period to July 10.

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

The Bureau of Land Management is reconsidering travel routes for off-road vehicles on more than  6 million acres of Utah land.  BLM-Utah will revisit plans for lands surrounding Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Dinosaur National Monument

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